In the Chinese zodiac, 2012 is the year of the Dragon, the mightiest of the signs symbolizing passion, ambition and embracing challenge. It is fitting then than Peng-Peng Gong’s Zhonghua Chronicles: Piano Concerto No. 3, which was awarded the China National Symphonic Composition Prize of Excellence, premiered on February 13 with the China National Symphony, who nominated the piece. Led by Maestro En Shao, the CNSO will give the first U.S. performances of the work on its 2013 tour of 42 cities and 22 states with Peng-Peng as guest soloist, along with Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1. The orchestra and its director Guan Xia have become avid supporters of Mr. Gong both as a pianist and a composer. Prior to their U.S. departure, Zhonghua Chronicles will be performed again on December 16th at Beijing National Theatre. For a preview of Peng-Peng Gong’s Third Piano Concerto, here’s an excerpt.